In March 2016 I requested nominations for the Environmental Arsehat of the Year, and you happily complied by providing many excellent suggestions.
I now request that you vote on these nominations using the polling widget that follows a brief description of each nominee and why they’ve been suggested by the CB.com community. Once the votes are tallied, I’ll post the ‘winner’ (loser) in a new post in early 2017. Happy voting!
The nominations (in no particular order)
- Dennis Lowe, Barbados Minister of Environment and Drainage: Nominated for intentionally destroying the last mangrove on the island. Despite being privately protected and offered for donation to the national park system, the Minister would prefer to destroy the wetland by preventing inflow of saltwater and dumping raw sewage into it.
- The Norwegian Government approved wolf shooting in that country, with more than 11,000 Norwegian hunters lining up for shooting permits. In Norway, sheep run free everywhere and farmers strongly refuse to use electrified paddocks.
- Matt Ridley has a PhD and is a popular science writer. He is also a fervent climate change denialist (writing for the Times and guesting elsewhere). He preaches a brand of conservation optimism and neoliberalism that is not borne out by facts.
- Greg Hunt, former Australian Minister of the Environment, for rolling back environmental protection in Australia by decades, and actually believing that he did a great job.
- Helen Caldicott: A well known Australian ex-pat anti-nuclear activist who is a notorious liar, misleader and gish-galloper responsible for holding back real climate-change mitigation.
- The Queensland Liberal-National Party (former Government) as a whole and Olive Vale Pastoral: Just before last year’s Queensland election, the Liberal-National Party government approved an application by Olive Vale Pastoral to clear 32,000 hectares of tropical savanna on Olive Vale Station in Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula. They approved the clearing of native vegetation that is home to 17 listed threatened species, and includes important rivers flowing into the Great Barrier Reef. The land was approved for clearing because Olive Vale Pastoral wanted to start dryland farming, even though the land is not suitable for such activity. Not only that, the decision was kept quiet and not publicly announced.
- Mark Jacobson: The 100%-renewables zealot might seem like an odd nomination, but when you dig down into the implausibility of his conclusions (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here for recent exposés of the flaws), his all-out war on nuclear energy, and his rather childish habit of blocking on Twitter anyone who shows data challenging his conclusions, he certainly makes it onto the list of deserving nominees.
- Gautam Adani: Stinking-wealthy man with friends in high places. Massive coal mine. Flawed environmental approvals process. No bank willing to finance development. Australian taxpayer forced to foot the bill for a $1b loan to the Indian company. What’s not to like?